Autorikshaws, especially those here in Bangalore, are a pain to take for a daily commute. Worse so, if you are from out of town and don’t know your way around the place. Tampered meters, longer routes, and constant haggling for the rates are some of the pain points of a commute in this form of transport.
Luckily, there are quite a few apps on various platforms to find the right fare for your travel. I had the chance to try out an app from Ideophone called Suruk which claimed to help ease out this process. This app is not limited to just Autorikshaws, but works with with Taxis as well.
Let’s jump to the functionality Suruk provides and see if it helps with the problems we face.
- If you have a GPS phone, the app can track the exact fare which you should be paying out to the driver for the travel you’ve done. This helps you find if the guy’s tampered with his meter to extract more from you.
- If you’re haggling about the price you should be paying for your ride, you can fire up the Suruk, start the Route Finder. You just have to enter your starting point and destination, and the app gives you an approximate fare for the trip.
- The Route Finder does allow you find the shortest route as well and opens up the Map to show you the route. You can use this to see if the driver is trying to gyp you by taking the long scenic route.
- You can also check the crowd-sourced data about the Auto or Taxi driver’s conduct based on other’s experience. You can get this by getting to the Driver Conduct screen and entering in the vehicle number to see if there’s data in their system about prior conduct of the driver. You can send in your feedback as well once you’re done with your travel. The Ideophone folks told us they have 2500+ vehicles (autos & taxis) in their current database worldwide, and growing.
- The App covers most major cities in India, and in case yours isn’t, you can head out the app’s settings and enter the minimum fare, and the fares per kilometer and customize the app for your location, even if you’re not in India. This app’s already been downloaded in around 140+ countries. Ideophone has a blog post where you can see from which countries Suruk has been downloaded.
From the functionality list, Suruk does manage to have a solution to help you sort out the major gripes with travelling by Autos around the town. You should take a peek at the app and take it for a test drive on your next Autorikshaw ride around the town. For more information about Suruk, check out Ideophone’s site.
This app is available for Android devices and Nokia’s Symbian devices as well. The Symbian version is compatible with all Symbian devices (Symbian S60v3/5, Symbian ^3 and S40). You can also download this app on any mobile which supports JavaME. If you don’t have a smart phone, you can check out Ideophone’s AutoFare SMS service to get the approximate fare details as well.